Entries Tagged 'Smile House' ↓


We are very excited because the Smile House project is going forward rapidly. It is so interesting to watch God work at His own pace, with His purpose. Manna Worldwide and Smile Alliance International have partnered together and we are beginning to see the possibility of the fulfillment of the dream. Over the past three years we have been praying that this huge building could be used to help the children of Ukraine. SAI’s original idea was for a transition home for orphans that graduate from the orphanage at sixteen. But with only Dr. Richard and Vicki Nelson and Valeriy Suzdaltsev actually in Ukraine, we knew it would have to be miraculous for this project to ever be complete. Our plans and ideas for the top floors of the building shifted from one idea to another.

Meanwhile, we felt we had to be faithful with the funds provided and asked our wonderful team of Ukrainian builders to continue working on the building as donations were received. Funds were generously donated to install windows and doors. Last year about this time, we felt we were supposed to go forward with the dental clinic and now half the first floor is complete. The floors and walls are done and it is ready for dental equipment, cabinets, and other furnishings. Now we are looking for donations of good quality used or new dental equipment from the states or funds to purchase equipment in Ukraine. God has brought us this far and we know in His timing that He will provide all the things needed so that many underserved children in the area will be able to receive compassionate dental care. Several Ukrainian dentists have expressed interest in volunteering time at the facility when it opens. In the meantime, we are “preparing for the rain”, talking to government officials and trying to make sure we are following all the regulations required to begin. God has been so very faithful and we know He will continue to supply the items needed and volunteers to make this happen.

Drs. Richard and Ina continue to serve with the Youth with a Mission dental van and at the Emmanuel Clinic providing free treatment to children. Faithful supporters have made it possible for Dr. Ina to continue in this ministry. Several thousand children were served through these ministries in the past three years—again an amazing story.

Smile Alliance International’s Ukrainian humanitarian organization, SAI Soniatchnia Svitlo, is happy to welcome three new board members from Manna Worldwide. This organization is putting together several building teams to work on Smile House. They will begin arriving in May. And the exciting thing is that a transition home for orphans is in the plans for the second floor. Manna will be running this program and will be using the top floors in several ways. This has taken a great deal of pressure off us. We knew from the start that we could not do this alone. That only God could make this happen. We just wanted to be faithful and try to be open to His plans. (That is very difficult to do sometimes.)

Thank you to all our supporters for your prayers and continued encouragement. Thank you to those who have felt God leading them to support the ministry in practical ways. To those who have generously donated funds and goods, we especially want to say a heartfelt Thank you. And we ask you to continually pray for this project so God can be glorified and many children in Ukraine will be served. May you be blessed.

Merry Christmas to Our Friends and SAI Supporters

We want to thank each of you who have suppported Smile Alliance International with prayer, encouragement and by donating funds and goods to continue the ministry. A special thanks to those who were part of the six teams we worked with, joining us in ministry in Ukraine. At least 2500 people have been blessed this year because of your faithfulness.
Breifly, I am working on updates on my blogs for those of you who are interested in what has transpired during 2008. Right now we are in the middle of distributing 900 plus gifts to widows, moms and kids through SAI and our partners. Smile Alliance International and Manna Worldwide are signing the final paperwork for a formal partnership which will eventually finish the Smile House Project. The first floor is half finished now but without dental equipment or furnishings. SAI will be responsible for the clinic. A transition home for 16 year old girls who graduate from Komorivka Orphanage is planned for the second floor and will be managed by Manna. Other plans for the remainder of the building are being worked out. So if you are interested, please check www.smilealliance.blogspot.com for general ministry updates, www.smilehouse.blogspot.com for the dental ministry updates, and www.livinginukraine.blogspot.com for everyday life updates.
The Smile Alliance International website www.smilealliance.org is functioning but still needs a lot of work. We are posting a list of needs on it along with other pertinent information. God has been very faithful and your support has made this ministry possible. Thank you again. May you be indeed blessed this Christmas and in the year to come.
The Nelsons and Smile Alliance International

Dental Clinic Construction Proceeding

For a year and a half, we have been told by our contractor and partners that the plumbing for the whole building needed to be done before anything else could be. Finally, a few months ago we had another meeting and we again tried to see if perhaps we could finish off half of the first floor for the dental clinic. There were not enough funds to finish the whole project but there were enough to get started on the dental clinic. Actually, I made the statement that if this project takes too long we will all be dead. Mr. S got to thinking about that statement and at the next meeting, the project took off. The builders were able to work again and decided to stay on—they were getting ready to move out. If that had happened, we would have had to put in a security system, etc..

Now the heat is in the floor, the tiles are being laid, walls and ceilings are just about complete and there are interior doors. Suddenly we have to make decisions on tiles, colors, furniture. More dental equipment is needed but the project is moving forward. When God decides it’s time to move, things happen.

There are some new ideas about how to use the remainder of the building and we ask for your prayers for wisdom as the Boards of Directors here and in America decide how to proceed.

Breaking News: Donations to Smile Alliance

Praise God! He is so very awesome and He is smiling, rejoicing and laughing with us today. The Smile Alliance International board of directors, its supporters, and friends and our workers in Ukraine are excited that through many small and two large donations in the last few months it looks like God is giving us the okay to proceed with the Smile House Project. It was been on hold for several months because of lack of funds but we have all felt it was a matter of timing and that eventually God would give us the direction to continue with it.

We are so thankful for the generosity of all our supporters. Many of you support the work each month and I know it is a big commitment from often limited funds. Without your steady, committed support our ministry would be unable to continue. I want to thank each one of you—every penny that is invested in this work is important to us and we strive to use it wisely for God’s glory. Luke 21:1-4 tells of the widow who placed two small coins—her last—in the offering plate. Jesus commended her and her story lives on over the centuries as an inspiration to all of us. In the same way we are inspired by each of your contributions to the ministry—spiritual, emotional, financial and physical.

On Monday, June 25, I told a friend that I felt God was telling me that it was time to step out and go forward with plans. Many have fasted and prayed for this project and for some kind of confirmation as what direction to go with it. In the meantime, unbeknown to us, Mr. S and the contractor had been getting bids on windows and doors. A generous donation of $20,000 had been sent to SAI a couple months ago for the use of the ministry in Ukraine. It is being used for dental needs, some much needed items for poor children in the villages, and some basic ministry needs. Yet there is still a large part of it which can be used to put in a well and possibility some plumbing in the building.

The past few months have been very busy (see www.smilealliance.blogspot.com) so we took a much needed break from ministry for three days to visit some castles and historical ruins with a Ukrainian friend, Yuliya. I will post pictures and commentary on http://www.livinginukraine.blogspot.com/ this afternoon. Anyway, when we got home and I checked my email yesterday I found a wonderful confirmation that we are to continue to move forward. But let me go back three years before I continue with this thought.

At a Commission for Children at Risk conference in Rome, Georgia in November 2004, I met a very nice lady named Karen Jones. We spent time praying together and have kept in touch over the years. At that time, she told me of an estate which had been designated to help the orphans and poor children in Ukraine. She suggested that SAI apply for some of the funds. Through a set of unusual circumstances the people appointed to administrater the funds were unable to do so, and it went back to the drawing board. Last September, we received a call from a man, Greg S., who was helping the judge determine the distribution of funds and he asked for information on the organization. Sherry Longbine, Patty Radzykewycz, and I sent him information about SAI, Smile House and other projects. There were many months of silence and then in January we heard that SAI had been selected with two other organizations to receive funds from the Estate of Merritt Orr in the state of Texas. We had no idea how large the estate was or how much SAI would receive. It’s been interesting waiting and wondering. We all knew that whatever the amount—whether small or large—it was just what God had planned. So we waited.

Back to yesterday, the check came to P.O. Box 240 yesterday—mailed probably on Monday—about the time I felt we should step out and go forward with the project. The amount: $107,710.43. SAI received 40% of the estate. Praise God! We are so thankful that this person whom we were never able to meet had a heart for the children of Ukraine. Through his kindness many, many children will be blessed. We are all rejoicing, seeing God’s leading, knowing that He is in control. This amount will help finish the windows and hopefully the dental portion of the building. Estimates for the final finish work on the whole building are around $450,000 but volunteer labor and donated materials, it could be a lot less. This is just the amount needed at this point in time and we thank God for it.

Richard and I wanted to share this with each of you so together we can all send our thanks to a loving, heavenly Father who has dreams much bigger than any of us can imagine. This huge project is often daunting but it is His project. Our motto is Psalm 115:1 and will continue to be. May each of you be truly blessed as well and be able to see the plans He has for you.

Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory and honor because of Your love and faithfulness. Ps 115:1

Vicki and Richard

Smile House–Before and After

In the above pictures pictures you see Smile House as we first saw it in October 2005 and again in November 2006 after the new addition and roof were added. We are excited to see it emerging with a personality of it’s own. There is so much potential for good in this facility. Below the front of the building is shown again in the before and after format.

Richard points to the graffiti we found on the wall. It depicts a smiling boy with words that say something like “You are welcome here.” Of course, we both instantly thought “It’s a sign”.

This is the building from the back.

Below is pictured the top floor with the old roof before the walls were raised and after the wonderful new roof was put on it. The construction is entirely different. Yura, our main builder, is making sure that his crew do quality work and they are using very good materials.

Our friends Tanya and Yura and their two boys visited Smile House with us soon after it was purchase in February of 2006. We all joined together as Yura prayed a blessing on it and the people who will come here. The next day Valeriy and Allah Suzdaltsev, our Ukrainian partners, bought us to the building and they sprinkled holy water on it and prayed a blessing over it.

I thought it would be fun to post some pictures of the Smile House Project as it looked when we first saw it compared to the present with the new addition and roof. It is amazing what God has accomplished in a year. We are waiting in anticipation to see where He leads from here. There are so many ways this building can be used to help others in addition to the planned dental clinic. Please that it will go according to God’s agenda and not any of ours. Also, pray for the people who will be helped here in the future.

Smile House’s New Roof

We were at Smile House over the weekend and the roof is just about done. We are very excited and it really makes the building look LARGE. I guess it actually is. It has gone over the proposed budget by about $6000 because of some extra winterization that needed to be done. We need to hire someone to stay there throughout the winter to protect the building until more funding is obtained. The builders have agreed to take turns there—I wouldn’t want to stay there myself—for a nominal fee. The head builder, Yura, looks very sad—he was the one driving the car. As mentioned previously, the second builder died a couple of weeks ago. Please keep Yura and the others in your prayers. The work is top quality. I am posting some pictures this morning of the new roof and I will do some comparison photos tonight. Just wanted to get this posted for those of you who have been praying for and supporting this project. Blessings.

Tragic Accident

On October 14 several of the builders on the Smile House project were in a traffic accident when their car was hit by a bus. One man was killed and another seriously injured. It has been a bery difficult time for the head builder who was driving and for the whole team. They were all close friends and/or family.

Update November 22, 2006: During the second week in November the second young man died from massive head and internal injuries. Please pray for the remaining builders, their families, and the project. Thank you.

Update on Smile House

Richard and I just returned from three plus weeks in the United States. It was wonderful to visit with our family and friends. We made some new friends as well. And our new grandson was born. What a joy to be able to be there. He waited two extra weeks to arrive so that we would be able to share in the joy of his arrival. What a kid!!!!!!!!

On September 8, Mr. S sent pictures of Smile House that he had taken that day. As you can see, the new addition is attached to the front of the building. The top floor has been raised a meter and a half. And the new roof should be started by now. We will find out more today. Funds are running low but we know that God has a plan for this building and in His time it will be completed. We are hoping to get it enclosed by winter so visiting teams and local volunteers can help us during the winter months. Windows and doors will be a large expense. Sasha, the contractor, estimates that windows will cost up to $21,000 and doors (there are 75 or more) will be around $16,000. If we make smaller windows in the ends of the building it will cost less.

Thanks for your interest in the project. If you know of anyone who might like to help with funds, please contact us at Smilealliance@yahoo.com or Smile Alliance P.O. Box 240 Cle Elum, WA 98922.